A Solitude of Wolverines By Alice Henderson
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Summary from GoodReads:
While studying wolverines on a wildlife sanctuary in Montana, biologist Alex Carter is run off the road and threatened by locals determined to force her off the land.
Undeterred in her mission to help save this threatened species, Alex tracks wolverines on foot and by cameras positioned in remote regions of the preserve. But when she reviews the photos, she discovers disturbing images of an animal of a different kind: a severely injured man seemingly lost and wandering in the wilds.
After searches for the unknown man come up empty, local law enforcement is strangely set on dismissing the case altogether, raising Alex’s suspicions. Then another invasive predator trespasses onto the preserve. The hunter turns out to be another human—and the prey is the wildlife biologist herself. Alex realizes too late that she has seen too much—she’s stumbled onto a far-reaching illegal operation and now has become the biggest threat.
In this wild and dangerous landscape, Alex’s life depends on staying one step ahead—using all she knows about the animal world and what it takes to win the brutal battle for survival.
After a rather startling and exciting beginning this book settles down into a rather riveting book that slowly builds to an unexpected and yet thrilling conclusion. I spent much of this book expecting something totally different than what was really going on which kept me turning those pages late into the night.
I really liked Alex Carter, a woman who understands herself and what she wants out of life. She is most comfortable in the wilderness, studying wildlife and helping them to survive. She is committed to helping animals and that commitment shows through even when she herself is in danger. I also appreciated her MacGyver like ability to find and create what she needs in order to survive, a talent she learned from her mom. There were some things that happen to her that make me think she is incredibly unlucky, but she is also makes the best of her situations and never gives up.
The setting was perfect for this story. Wolverines are solitary animals, and live high up in the mountains. Alex stays at a shut down ski resort which at times is quite scary and could make anyone feel paranoid. Yet there is quite a bit of beauty to be found as well. The small town that she visits for supplies also has its quirky inhabitants, which you find in any small town. Some of the people were also a bit on the scary side, but there were others that were helpful.
The plot for the most part was well done. There were some slow spots and there is a section where her ex-boyfriend shows up that I thought a bit unnecessary and didn’t add the to the overall plot. But once you get past that, the slow build up to what is really going on was quite compelling. There was a point I though for sure that Sasquatch was going to make a show, but no. What really happens is so much better, and not at all what I was suspecting. The writing does also occasionally veer off into the technical aspects of wildlife studies, which also slowed down the narrative a bit, but was also interesting.
Overall a rather good suspense thriller with a fantastic setting and a great main character. This is the first in a series and I am looking forward to seeing more by this author and from Alex Carter.